Swimskin Test Procedure Page

  • By Aaron Hersh
  • Published Sep 7, 2010
  • Updated Oct 7, 2010 at 1:01 PM UTC

The test was performed by a single subject in an indoor 25-yard pool while wearing a Nike brand swim brief, Aqua Sphere Caiman goggles and no swim cap.

The test went like this:

Swim a 700 warm up

Put on the first suit

Swim 100 easy

Swim 2×100 at race pace with 15 seconds between 100s. Record time, stroke count and heart rate for each 100.

Repeat for the second and third suits.

Perform the same procedure wearing a swim brief.

Take the third suit and perform the same procedure.

Do it again with the second and then the first suit. Swim again in briefs.

Some of the sources of error:

Only one swimmer

Only one trial

Swimmer effort level

Swimmer technique

Heart rate fluctuation

Swimmer fatigue

The test was conducted in fresh water but the race will be in salt water, which influences how the water interacts with the swimmer. This may change the suit’s influence on the swimmer.

Rather than performing all 4 100’s while wearing the swim brief between the swimskin trials, we decided to swim in the briefs at the end of each block of swimskin tests. This most likely put the briefs at a disadvantage when compared to the swimskins. If we only include the data from the 2 100’s swum between the swimskin trials, the difference in pace per 100 yards decreases from 2.5 seconds to 2 seconds.

FILED UNDER: Gear & Tech

Aaron Hersh

Aaron Hersh

Aaron Hersh is the Senior Tech Editor of Triathlete magazine. To submit a question, write Aaron at

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